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Retrievals of riming and snow density from vertically‐pointing Doppler radars

Mason, S. L., Chiu, C. J., Hogan, R. J., Moisseev, D. and Kneifel, S. (2018) Retrievals of riming and snow density from vertically‐pointing Doppler radars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123 (24). pp. 13807-13834. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2018JD028603


Retrievals of ice and snow are made from Ka‐ and W‐band zenith‐pointing Doppler radars at Hyytiälä, Finland, during the snow experiment (SNEX) component of the Biogenic Aerosols: Effects on Clouds and Climate (BAECC 2014) field campaign. In a novel optimal estimation retrieval, mean Doppler velocity is exploited to retrieve a “density factor” parameter which modulates the mass, shape, terminal velocity and backscatter cross‐sections of ice particles. In a case study including aggregate snow and graupel we find that snow rate and ensemble mean ice density can be retrieved to within 50% of in‐situ measurements at the surface using dual‐frequency Doppler radar retrievals. While Doppler measurements are essential to the retrieval of particle density, the dual‐frequency ratio provides a strong constraint on particle size. The retrieved density factor is strongly correlated with liquid water path, indicating that riming is the primary process by which the density factor is modulated. Using liquid water path as a proxy for riming, profiles classified as unrimed snow, rimed snow and graupel exhibit distinct features characteristic of aggregation and riming processes, suggesting the potential to make estimates of process rates from these retrievals. We discuss the potential application of the technique to future satellite missions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:80877
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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